Maverick, a yellow lab, was hit by a car in early December. He lay in an icy ditch for two weeks with a severed leg before he was spotted by a passerby.
Now known as the "miracle dog," Maverick has been reunited with his owners — and is on his way to a full recovery, minus a back leg.
"It was a Christmas wish come true for Ryan and Mara Frohling and their three young children when, just days before the holiday, Maverick happily hobbled back into their home, minus a back leg but otherwise well on the way to complete recovery," the Perham Focus reported.
The Frohlings called and whistled for their missing dog every day for 13 days as they drove around their rural Minnesota neighbourhood in search of their pet. The three young kids, twins Courtney and Quentin, 9, and Kaleb, 3, refused to give up hope.
They even wrote a letter to Santa asking for Maverick's safe return.
On December 15, Maverick was found. A neighbour called the Frohlings to tell them that someone had spotted a yellow lab in a nearby ditch.
"I got a call from our neighbor and said somebody had stopped in at his house a said there's yellow lab that looked like he had gotten hit by a car," Ryan Frohling told WDAY.
Ryan arrived at the ditch to find the family dog "shockingly thin" and shivering in the cold. He rushed Maverick to a local veterinary clinic. Vets believed the dog wouldn't have survived another night in the cold.
Within three days, the dog gained 20 pounds. Surgery went well and Maverick was soon wagging his tail.
On December 21, a happy three-legged Maverick finally went home where he was "spoiled rotten by everyone."
"It was our Christmas present," said Mara Frohling of Maverick’s return. "It's amazing. Absolutely amazing...We're happy he's back. We're thankful he's back. Everything turned out great. We couldn’t ask for anything better."
Three-year-old Kaleb is adjusting to the idea that Maverick can no longer pull him on his sled.
Still, the youngster boasts, "He's one cool dog."